Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Spot to Linger

the Burrow is featured on the Where Elders Blog page of the blog Time Goes By. Click and see where I sit as we talk.

Time Goes By is a lovely place to linger. The Little Cuter tells me of days spent falling down the blogosphere-rabbit-hole as she wends her way back through the archives of her favorite blogs. Usually, I'd rather spend my time curled up with a book than scrunched over the monitor's screen, but Time Goes By made me feel like I was spending a pleasant hour or so with friends.

Smart friends. Talented friends. Distinguished and awarded friends. Friends who are talking about things I think about and write about and who bring a nuanced and intelligent and provocative perspective to the conversation. They are smart people ... and not just because they are old.

Had I the internet and blogging when the Big Cuter was an infant, those long lonely boring nights which began when he woke up to play at 11pm would have been much different. Before the advent of 24 hour connectivity, once I'd called Dial-A-Joke and Dial-A-Prayer I was pretty much on my own. Alone in a city apartment without a backyard for wandering. Alone and awake at 1am with a charming-but-not-much-of-a-conversationalist on my shoulder..... at least he wasn't much of a talker at 2 or 3 months of age. Alone and walking the long hallway of our railroad apartment, quietly so as not to disturb TBG who had to wake up and earn our daily bread. Had you been out there then, I could have talked to you. And believe me I would have talked to you. Every night. All night... or at least until the rhythm of my typing put him to sleep on my shoulder (no playpens for my special baby). So, I understand the mommy-bloggers. Completely. Absolutely. I'd have been one, I'm sure.

But now, as TBG faces the start of his 7th decade, as the Cuters make their own ways in their own worlds, I find myself embracing my role as a crone. And I'm enjoying listening to others who are doing the same.

I'm not relaxing into it or using it as an excuse to exempt myself from the daily travail that is life in the 21st century. I'm finding it empowering and energizing and, most surprisingly, I'm finding it fun.

On my 50th birthday I took a group of friends on a hike up Mt. Tamalpais. As we tried to balance the camera on the trunk of my Audi for a time-delayed photo of us all, 2 women stopped and offered to help. Upon hearing the reason for our adventure, the taller one revealed that it was her birthday as well. Then, she put her arm around me and said the words I've remembered and cherished and lived by since: "I'm 70. Let me tell you.... the best years are the ones coming up for you. You are 50 - who is going to tell you what to do? No one! You've been alive for 50 years -- you know what to do by now."

OK, if you've heard a more empowering statement, I want you to share it. Because that was pretty special for me. She gave me permission to be comfortable with myself, my thoughts, my actions. I take advice (oh, about as well as I always did...) and I do attempt to stay within the bounds of civilized behavior, but my opinions are founded in decades of experiences and I've earned them and learned them and own them myself.

Mommy-bloggers are seeking answers and sharing events and looking for suggestions and that's still a part of my experience in the Burrow. But I feel like I'm on more solid ground. I'm making pronouncements. I'm drawing conclusions. I'm ranting and expounding and declaring and at times I'm bloviating and still you are reading.

There are things about which I am unsure - G'ma among them - but the mommy-bloggers can't help me there. Somehow, though, I think that my new friends at Time Goes By might be just the ticket.

Why not click here and check it out yourself..... the health care policy links were particularly interesting to me.... but so were the jazz and the story telling links. Have fun!


  1. Glad to find you at TGB where I've been hangin' out since I luckily found that blog just a few years ago. Nice to add more writers in the Southwest, closer to my So. Cal. home (prev. lived a few years in AZ.)

    Your writing immediately caught my attention since I've enjoyed Gawande's writing for several years and have written about him, too.

    Yes, there were times in my life when having had blogging would have been welcome. I would concur with the words you received from the seventy year old. When I was fifty I prepared for the next fifty years of my life. More recently, with the advances in life expectancy I wrote about once again considering my life in terms of "the next fifty years."

  2. The Big Cuter is convinced that his life expectancy will be well over 100 years, and that his physical and mental status will remain as vibrant and acute as they are now for him, in his 20's. The next 50 years...... now that's something to think about :0

    Thanks for reading, Joared.


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